Static From My Attic

Do You See What I See?

Sometimes we need to be gently but firmly reminded that life is not of infinite length. I’ve been chugging along in my syncopated rut for

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What Price Syncopation?

Three years ago this month, I set forth on a journey of perpetual astonishment with the first issue of The Syncopated Times. “How did I

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Jazz By Gaslight

 Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer in a Screenshot from the trailer of Gaslight (1944) (Public Domain) Having spent my childhood and an unconscionable portion of my

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Annie and The Hedonists

A Needed Touch of Hedonism

Certain matters of local pride in a community invariably become annoyances to particular members of that community. Twenty years ago we bought a delightful Victorian

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Farm Radio

Turn Off Your Radio

(Related Story: Hot Jazz Saturday Night Cancelled) Most of my life I have been fascinated with radio. My childhood, of course, was dominated by television—because

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Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

Sorry, Right Number!

It may indicate a distinctly unbusinesslike attitude, but I regard picking up the telephone receiver to make a call with the same enthusiasm I’d muster

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On Going Postal(ly)

When I began publishing The Syncopated Times in February 2016, I stated my determination to reach out beyond the arbitrary borders of this country to

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W. C. Fields in his famous role as Mr. Micwaber. Public Domain

A Season of Superlatives

During the season in which I write this, it is almost impossible to avoid Charles Dickens’ inky thumbprint on our culture. There is a pervasive

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fels naptha original

Keeping It Clean(ish)

I am old enough to remember when the prospect of having one’s mouth washed out with soap was a credible threat. Not that such a

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Poster for a production of Ruddigore, published in 1887.

Coincidence? Nah

I don’t find anything especially remarkable about coincidences, except that they seem to happen all the time. Mostly, they occur, are briefly noted, and then

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oh no not jazz

Jazz and Not-Jazz

When I think of some of the acts that are chosen to perform at certain jazz festivals, I cannot help but hear the persistent voice

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Message Not Sent

On Dancing Bears, Sarcasm, and the Imperfect Reliability of Electronic Mail At certain times I begin to loathe the internet, resent my computer, and nurse

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Why Scott Joplin Still Matters

“Traveling,” said Mme. de Staël, “is a melancholy pleasure.” I’m inclined to concur, despite the chorus of protest that will rise with discordant variations on

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